2013 News Releases and Information
Celebrating half a century of quality lawn equipment
“Since 1837, innovation and quality have been a tradition at John Deere. Having entered the lawn equipment business 50 years ago, we’ve been reaching various new customers who are linked to the land beyond agriculture. Now we probably offer the broadest product range on the market,” says Karsten Biber, Segment Manager Turf for Europe.
50 years of lawn equipment: a historic overview
In 1963, John Deere manufactured its first lawn tractor, the model 110, in Horicon, Wisconsin, US. The four-stroke petrol engine produced 7hp. At that time, lawn mowing was developing into a popular leisure activity, at a time of growth in the US economy. With a well-founded reputation as a premium equipment manufacturer, John Deere soon established its new turf business. For a time, the company offered lawn tractors in other colours, in addition to its famous green and yellow livery, but this was only temporary. In the 1970s the product range expanded, with the introduction of rear engine and diesel engine riding lawnmowers. By 1972, John Deere had already introduced the first electric powered lawn tractor, which required three car batteries to operate.
Riding lawn equipment was becoming more and more popular on the American market at this time. As a result, the John Deere factory at Horicon celebrated the production of its 1 millionth lawn tractor in 1984.
On entering the professional golf and turf equipment market in 1987 in the US, John Deere reinforced its commitment to the lawn equipment business. Since 1994 the golf and turf business has also been established in Europe, offering a wide range of greens, fairway and rough mowers as well as different machines for commercial mowing.
The company acquired German lawn equipment manufacturer SABO of Gummersbach (and its Dutch brand Roberine) in 1991, attracted by SABO’s leading brand image and product experience in the field of walk-behind mowers. In 1994 John Deere’s turf business was established as a separate division within the company, alongside agricultural machinery. In subsequent years, John Deere continuously expanded its market presence as well as the product range, and celebrated the production of its 500,000th Gator utility vehicle and 5 millionth lawn tractor in 2010.
By introducing the Tango E5 autonomous mower in 2011, an in-house development from Gummersbach, John Deere entered a completely new product area, reflecting its capacity for innovation and the strength of its dealer network.
In 2013, John Deere looks back on 50 years of experience in the lawn equipment business. Today, the company’s comprehensive product range includes John Deere lawnmowers, compact and large utility tractors, commercial golf and turf equipment and Gators for private gardeners, professional landscapers and local authorities as well as greenkeepers and groundsmen at all levels.